Music, Art & Collaboration – An Interview with Heir

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By Jack

Heir are a Leeds based quintet who make indie pop. This comprises singer Tom Hammond, Sam Luca on keys, Harry Vernon & Ste Fisher on bass and lead respectively, and Samuel Newham on drums.

They made a name for themselves on the scene with their energetic performances, upbeat tone and deep appreciation of the local arts. They run a bi-monthly collaborative arts night, ‘Blueprint’, which brings together all kinds of performance art. Not short on ambition, nor charm, they (Tom, Ste, Sam) sat down with us at Live at Leeds to give us the lowdown.

HN: So how did you guys come together?

TH: Which lie shall we go with now?

SL: Dating app?

SF: It was a bit of a love story. We were just a group that got put together on our first ensemble module, and we just stuck together ever since.

HN: When Heir started off was it a similar kind of sound?

TH: Nah it was total shit. We didn’t know what we were really doing for a while. We’ve only been ‘Heir’ for the past three years, and it was only last March we cemented the style. At first it was (laughing) Tom Hammond.

SF: We were his backing band…

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SF: It took us a while to settle on certain influences. I’d cite Haim as our main influence. It’s a process. Do we like this sound? Do we still like Haim?

HN: How did you come to write ‘Need You the Most’?

SL: In the past when we go away to write we’ve went to Tom’s Grandparents’ house but this time we thought we really need to spread our wings, so we went to my Grandparents’ house. So we were down in Devon. It was intense, in a little cabin thing, in the summer.

SF: I think it was the first song we wrote whilst we were there. Lovely atmosphere to write a song. We wanted the message of just enjoying someone’s company. It’s not directly to a love interest. The partiular moment was when a song comes on, that you and a friend of yours know really well, and you have that giddy moment of running across the room being like “I fucking know this one!”.

SL: There’s always something satisfying and special about squeezing as much out of a smaller time frame. That song is three minutes describing one second: the moment you catch the eye of the other person.

HN: Was that that the first video you shot?

TH: When we had just started we did release some songs…that are no longer in existence. They are in a safe somewhere. Gringotts bank. We did a video for that, which we also directed ourselves, which was equally strange.

SF: It played on the theme of ‘aerobics’. We were all in tennis gear.

SL: Strangely we were all in white again. It seems to be a weird theme of our videos.

TH: It was a cross between 80s aerobic instructors and accidentally looking like 80s porn stars. So we took it down.

HN: It must be on someone’s hard drive somewhere…

TH: Maybe we’ll send you a clip of it. It’s not us though right. It’s the old us.

HN: Well the new video is great. Did you have fun making that?

SL: Again it was all done in one day with a team of videographers. Shot 24.

SF: It was very refreshing to have someone so invested in the video.

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HN: Tell me a bit about your Blueprint night?

TH: There’s obviously loads of band nights, which are great. But we wanted to create something that celebrated the art scene in Leeds. It’s been a really nice place to hang out with people being creative in their own way. The projections came from two artists, the staging was designed by a textiles student. It was fucking cool! It’s like ten different people coming together on one experience, which is unique.

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HN: So what lies ahead in 2018?

TH: Breaking up, probably.

HN: After this interview, yeah.

SL: We want to go away writing again. Feels like we haven’t been away for a while. Hopefully we’ll do that in the next few months.

HN: Whenever you can book time at someones Grandparents’ basically.

SL: If anyone’s Grandparents want to offer us a space then yeah.

TH: I feel like it’d work as an advert. It’s very specific.

SF: Just add a shot of us in our old porn gear.

SF: We’re just polishing off recordings from the previous year, which we’ll release at some point. Touring in October, and Blueprint every two months. So yeah, we’re busy…

We interviewed Heir as part of our Live at Leeds coverage. Full round-up here.

 

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